Kansas City Employment Law Attorneys
Representing Hardworking Missourians
Employers throughout Missouri are required to follow federal, state, and local laws designed to protect employees’ rights. These laws cover everything from fair wages to overtime pay, retaliation, termination, discrimination, and more. When an employer fails to follow the law, the affected employee can take legal action.
Potts Law Firm proudly represents hardworking Missourians across a broad range of industries. At our Kansas City office, we assist clients with all types of employment law claims, including unpaid wages and overtime, workplace discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower/qui tam litigation, and more. If you believe you may have a case, reach out to our firm right away to learn how we can help.
Request a free initial consultation with one of our Kansas City employment lawyers by calling (816) 312-5125 or by contacting us online using our secure contact form. Hablamos español.
Employee Rights in Missouri
Employees in any industry should know their rights, as well as what to do if those rights are violated by an employer or another entity. To that end, we have provided a brief overview of some of your most basic rights as a worker in the state of Missouri.
Wage & Hour Laws
In Missouri, nearly all employers must pay their employees the state’s minimum wage. In 2023, the Missouri minimum wage is $12.00/hour.
There are two primary exceptions to this rule:
- Retail and service businesses with a gross annual income below $500,000 do not have to pay employees the state minimum wage. Instead, these businesses can pay employees whatever wages they wish.
- Employers can pay tipped employees half the state minimum wage ($6/hour as of 2023) with the expectation that the tipped employees will make up the remaining $6/hour in tips. If a tipped employee does not make up this amount, the employer must pay the difference between the employee’s hourly earned amount (wages and tips) and the state minimum wage.
Other exceptions may apply, but they are relatively rare. If you believe that your employer has not paid you fairly or has failed to pay the state’s minimum wage, reach out to Potts Law Firm right away to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Note that Missouri does not have any laws regarding mandatory rest breaks or meal periods. Employers are not required to provide such breaks to employees. However, if they choose to do so, they must pay employees for shorter rest breaks. If an employee receives an unpaid meal break, their employer cannot require them to perform any work-related duties or be “on call” during the unpaid period.
Missouri law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for any work completed beyond 40 hours in a single workweek. The state does not require employers to pay overtime when an employee works more than 8 hours in a single workday. So, an employee may work four 10-hour shifts and not receive overtime pay. But, if an employee works six 8-hour days, he or she would be entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-a-half times their usual hourly rate of pay.
Note that overtime pay only applies to nonexempt employees. Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay, even when they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek.
In Missouri, exempt employees include (but are not limited to):
- Independent contractors
- Workers who earn all or part of their income from sales commissions
To be classified as “exempt,” an employee must earn a salary, and this salary must be above a certain salary threshold.
Workplace Discrimination & Harassment
Workplace discrimination and harassment are illegal in all 50 states, including Missouri. This includes any type of discrimination or harassment at all levels of hiring, employing, and firing employees.
Discrimination occurs when an employee or prospective employee faces unfair treatment based on any “protected class.” These protected classes are defined by both state and federal law.
In Missouri, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee based on any of the following:
- National origin
- Disability (physical or mental)
- Age (between 40 and 70)
You could have an employment discrimination claim if you were unfairly treated based on any of these protected classes at any point during the recruiting, hiring, interviewing, training, employment, or firing process.
Harassment is a type of discrimination that can severely impact an employee’s ability to perform their job and feel safe, respected, and secure in the work environment. Like discrimination, harassment can occur at any point during the employment process and may be based on any of the above-mentioned protected classes.
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing an unpaid wages or overtime claim, reporting workplace discrimination or harassment, filing a whistleblower/qui tam claim, or otherwise taking legal action protected under federal or state law. An employer also cannot retaliate against an employee for taking protected leave, such as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Employment retaliation may look like:
- Wrongful termination, or being unjustly fired or let go
- Being passed over for a promotion
- Being transferred, or being denied a transfer
- Being denied one’s old job after returning from medical or family leave
- Taking unlawful wage deductions
- Delaying paychecks/payment of wages
- Reducing an employee’s hours
- Sending an employee home from a shift without pay
- Threatening employees
You are entitled to exercise your rights. If an employer took any adverse action against you because you exercised those rights, call the Kansas City employment lawyers at Potts Law Firm now.
Contact us today at (816) 312-5125 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.
Transvaginal Mesh Settlements Over $1 Billion
The Potts Law Firm and its joint venture partners have been successful in resolving over $1 billion in transvaginal mesh settlements. Derek H. Potts was one of a handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country who spearheaded the establishment of what would become the largest medical device MDL consolidations in history.
Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch $184 Million
Derek H. Potts was a member of the Kugel Mesh MDL Plaintiffs Steering Committee which was instrumental in obtaining a $184,000,000 global settlement for several thousand persons who had received the Kugel Mesh hernia patch.
ERISA Class Action Settlement $36 Million
Potts Law Firm served as class counsel in the ERISA class action, Diebold, et al. v. Northern Trust Investments, N.A. et al., 09-Civ-1934 (Diebold), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where the Court approved a collective settlement of $36 million dollars for class representatives resulting in millions of dollars returned to investors.
Paraplegic Minor $12 Million
Derek H. Potts and Timothy L. Sifers obtained a $12,100,000 verdict against Lisa Gard, M.D. for medical malpractice involving a minor. The jury found the Salina emergency room doctor to be negligent in her assessment of the minor upon presentation in the emergency room, failing to timely diagnose a rare spinal condition. The case was one of the largest verdicts in history in the State of Kansas.
Fraud Against Lender $10.7 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a United States Bankruptcy Trustee. The case stemmed from the massive bankruptcy of Royce Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the country. Micah and Chris represented the bankruptcy Trustee against a multitude of defendants, including the chief Lender, for claims related to the homebuilder’s downfall and the fraudulent transfer of assets from the rightful owners, the creditors.
Birth Injury $4.6 Million
Derek H. Potts and Samuel Cullan were members of the plaintiff's trial team which obtained a $4,600,000 verdict for a minor delivered at Bethany Medical Center. Ariana Wilburn, the minor, suffered a spinal cord presentation after being born in the breech position.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Birth Injury $3.5 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $3,500,000 settlement for a single mother whose infant suffered severe brain damage while being delivered in a New Mexico hospital. The mother, having no previous pregnancy or medical issues, began laboring and immediately went to a hospital. Despite the clear signs of fetal distress and hypoxia (lack of oxygen), the doctor and nurse did not order an emergency cesarean section.
Fraudulent Transfers $2.42 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a Bankruptcy Trustee, resulting in a combined $2.42 million being recovered for creditors of ATP Oil & Gas Company. The claims related to fraudulent transfers of overriding royalty interests in oil & gas properties made by ATP in a failed attempt to liquidate the assets of the company.
Catastrophic Injuries $3.5 Million
Derek H. Potts was co-lead counsel with Thomas Cartmell in representing John Novogradac of Kansas City whose health was neglected during his stay at two nursing home facilities. Mr. Novogradac developed bedsores on his body and had above-knee amputations on both legs after his wounds became severely infected with gangrenous and dead tissue.
Pharmaceutical Birth Defect $1.05 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $1,050,000 settlement for a mother whose infant suffered birth defects from a pharmaceutical drug that was taken during pregnancy. Though the migraine drug manufacturer knew the medication could cause a fetus to develop a cleft lip and/or cleft palate when consumed by the mother during the early stages of pregnancy, they failed to warn consumers about these dangers.